Mustafa Ali, the leader of RETRIBUTION, talked about his WWE debut journey on the recent episode of After the Bell. Ali revealed that before debuting in WWE, he considered retirement and continuing his job as a police officer.
“As with anything that you’re passionate about in life, there is extreme highs and there’s a lot more extreme lows, and the Cruiserweight Classic was this tumultuous thing for me. It was that typical indie wrestler moment. Anyone that’s done this can understand. I thought this was the year that I’m going to hang up the boots or the kick pads or whatever you want to call them because I just wasn’t getting any traction.
Ali said that taking care of his family was his first priority and this is why he didn’t know if he should continue his wrestling career. He had to travel to different countries for shows and doing so while continuing his job wasn’t possible.
“A lot of my friends were blowing up on the indie scene, and like you mentioned, I was a police officer at the time so traveling all over the world, doing these tours in the UK and Japan just weren’t feasible. The number one thing for me, at that time, was providing for my family as a man should, so my dream came second.”
The former 205 Live superstar revealed that he had to make a decision in the end. He had emailed WWE about a possible role and they arranged a spot for him in the Cruiserweight Tournament. However, he was a backup and wasn’t actually going to perform at the show.
“A lot of stuff was going on personally as we always have going on, and I had to make a decision. Do I still get on this plane and go and kind of swallow my pride and stand there like a good boy and hope to be called on, and I said, ‘you’re always going to ask yourself, what if? Just go’ and I went.”
Fortunately, he did perform during the tournament, thanks to Lince Dorado.
“There was an opening. Lince Dorado’s opponent wasn’t able to compete, and Lince and I are old friends that have competed. I owe the world to him because he immediately stepped up and said, ‘give me Ali.’ They reminded him that the segment that our match was, the time slot was very very small, and he like, ‘yeah, that’s why I want him because I know he can get it done’ and we went out there, and I think we tore it up. I mean, obviously, I’m here now, but they cracked the door open a little bit, and I kicked the damn thing down.”